Whether you're feeling moody or in a mood to dance, you'll find what you need among this week's new releases. Topping the list of must-buys in record stores today comes from U.K. trio Daughter, who were a standout during our CMJ broadcast last year with their highly emotive and engaging performance. Our Music Director, Don Yates, calls If You Leave, their anticipated debut of "an often-moving set of dark, goth-tinged folk-pop," for its "haunting, atmospheric sound featuring melancholy reverbed guitars, stark percussion, smoky vocals and lovelorn lyrics." For something a bit more hip-shaking (or pelvis thrusting), bicoastal U.S. band !!! (or Chk Chk Chk) have released "another well-executed set of sleek dance-pop inflected with disco, funk and other styles" in their fifth, humorously titled album, THR!!!ER. LA rocker Hanni El Khatib avoids any chance of a sophomore slump by working with The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach, who "provides El Khatib with a more fleshed-out yet still visceral sound for his expansive, blues-tinged garage-rock, taking in elements of old-school R&B, ‘60s girl groups and other styles." And British singer Alice Russell returns with a stunning fifth album that "masterfully blends classic soul and funk with shades of electro-pop, hip hop and other modern influences."
There's a lot more great music out this week, particularly from U.K. and the U.S. bands, including Brooklyn's Akron/Family, whose latest LP is "another sprawling set of folk-tinged psych-rock incorporating elements of folk, Afro-pop, doo wop and other styles on expansive songs combining loud electric guitars, bold percussion and other instrumentation with ritualistic chants and stirring harmonies"; British band Wolf People, whose second album is an "impressively executed blend of ‘70s-inspired prog, British-folk-rock, psychedelia and stoner rock, combining intricate song structures with heavy guitar riffs, agile rhythms and folk-influenced melodies"; Cayucas, the Southern California-based project of Zach Yudin, whose debut is "an infectious set of buoyant, tropical-flavored indie-pop with rhythmic songs spiked with sunny pop melodies"; and the bi-continental duo Neon Neon, consisting of American hip hop producer Boom Bip and Welsh rocker Gruff Rhys (of Super Furry Animals), whose latest is a concept record about Italian publisher and left-wing activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and features their familiar "sleek yet slightly quirky ‘80s-steeped electro-pop" sound.
Veteran rockers return this week in force, as well. Legendary Brazilian group Os Mutantes are releasing their second album since reforming in 2006, and it's "a typically heady blend of tropicalia, psych-rock, prog and more, combining playfully adventurous arrangements with politically charged lyrics". As if he ever left, Robert Pollard returns with the fourth album in 15 months from the reunited Guided By Voices, offering ever more "crunchy pop-rock gems". And Iggy and the Stooges are back, this time with Raw Power guitarist James Williamson replacing the sadly deceased original Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton, on their second and best yet post-comeback album, featuring among a few "jokey shock-novelty songs... some surprisingly poignant ballads."
Grab all of these and more, including the debut of LA band Hands and a beautiful collaboration between Red House Painters / Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek and The Album Leaf's Jimmy Lavelle, at your favorite record shop today. And remember, every day is Record Store Day!
!!! - Slyd (MP3)
Adventure - Happiness (MP3)
It's funny that while we're getting some of our brightest days right now here in Seattle, some of this week's most exciting new releases are some of the year's darkest. Buzzy new British band Savages tops this week's list with one of the best albums so far of the year. Our Music Director, Don Yat...
We hope you had a successful and fruitful Record Store Day this past Saturday and that you've added many cherished discs to your vinyl collection. This growing movement has been a needed boon for ailing record stores as much as it's been a treasure trove for music fans worldwide. We'd love to hea...